While the government sleeps, Interligne saves lives
For several years, I needed to use listening services adapted to the needs of people from LGBTQ+ communities. I would have died if no one on the other end of the line showed up that night, and I am weighing my words.
Because it was when it was dark that I was most vulnerable to anxiety attacks. The night crisis line saved my life. Literally.
Currently, Interligne’s night listening service, a reference in terms of listening, information and moral support for my community, will have to announce its imminent closure as of November 15 due to lack of funding from the Government of Quebec.
This blatant inaction will compromise access to essential resources for one-third of LGBTQ+ communities, that is thousands of people. Which is very alarming, you will understand. Suicide attempts can be avoided thanks to this night helpline. Don’t think I’m trying to make you feel guilty, just alarm you that lives are at stake.
Rise in distress
Moreover, since the pandemic and due to the periods of confinement, a sharp increase in distress has been felt among the population, more particularly in the communities of sexual and gender diversity. This makes Interligne’s night service all the more essential, even though it always has been.
Most people who call Interligne do so, among other reasons, because the other existing organizations do not have the resources and knowledge to provide them with adequate support.
In the past, I unfortunately happened to be directed to resources that were not adequate for me and which, unfortunately, delayed my recovery from the troubles that assailed me at the time. Different life experiences logically require different services adapted to multiple realities. I’m not telling you anything here.
- Listen to the interview with Gabrielle Boulianne-Tremblay on Sophie Durocher’s show broadcast live every day at 2:38 p.m. via QUB-radio :
Lack of funding
At the other end of the line, management and volunteers work hard to provide quality service to callers, always in continuous training, in order to have the most appropriate interventions possible for various needs.
Interligne’s staff members have high levels of education, most having bachelor’s and master’s degrees with expertise in psychology, psychosocial intervention and the helpline inherent in a helpline. Unfortunately, due to the lack of funding, they cannot be hired on the basis of their skills or offered decent working conditions.
The discrimination experienced by Interligne therefore directly affects the communities served by the organization, but also the people who work there, who are also LGBTQ+.
It is heartbreaking to note that, despite all its activities aimed at the mental health of callers, Interligne is not recognized as such in your eyes. Could it at least to your heart?
Photo courtesy, Justine Latour
Co-spokesperson for Interligne, actress and writer